« PreviousContinue »
Commendation for obliging Behaviour.
You have done our pleasures much grace, fair ladies;
Timon of Athens.
Commendation for Fidelity.
O good old man, how well in thee appears
As You Like It.
Exhorting, or encouraging, is earnest persuasion, attended with confidence of success. The voice has the softness of love, intermixed with the firmness of courage; the arms are sometimes spread, with the hands open, as intreating; and sometimes the right hand is lifted up, and struck rapidly down, as enforcing what we say.
wherefore do you droop? Why look you sad?
And fright him there, and make him tremble there?—
Shakesp. K. John.
Complaining, as when one is under violent bodily pain, distorts the features, almost closes the eyes; sometimes raises them wistfully; opens the mouth, gnashes the teeth, draws up the upper lip, draws down the head upon the breast, and contracts the whole body. The arms are violently bent at the elbows, and the fists strongly clinched. The voice is uttered in groans, lamentations, and sometimes violent screams.
Complaining of extreme Pain.
Search there; nay, probe me; search my
Oh, I am shot! A forked burning arrow
Like light'ning through my flesh, my blood, my marrow.
Fatigue from hard labour gives a general languor to the body; the countenance is dejected, the arms hang listless; the body, if not sitting or lying along, stoops, as in old age; the legs, if walking, are dragged heavily along, and seem at every step to bend under the weight of the body. The voice is weak, and hardly articulate enough to be understood.
Fatigue from Travelling.
I see a man's life is a tedious one:
Feebleness from Hunger.
Adam. Dear master, I can go no farther: Oh, I die for food! here lie I down and measure out my grave. Farewell, kind
Duke. Welcome: set down your venerable burden, And let him feed.
Orla. I thank you most for him.
you for myself.
Ibid. As You Like It.
Sickness has infirmity, or feebleness, in every motion and utterance; the eyes dim and almost closed, the cheeks are pale and hollow, the jaw falls, the head hangs down, as if too heavy to be supported by the neck; the voice feeble, trembling, and plaintive, the head shaking, and the whole body, as it were, sinking under the weight that oppresses it.
Sickness approaching to Death.
And wherefore should this good news make me sick? I should rejoice now at this happy news,
And now my sight fails, and my brain is giddy :-
pray you take me up and bear me hence Into some other chamber; softly, pray
Let there be no noise made, my gentle friends,
Unless some dull and favourable band
Shakes. Hen. IV. 2nd Part.
Trifling as this selection of examples of the passions may appear, it is presumed it will be singularly useful. The passions are every where to be found in small portions, promiscuously mingled with each other, but not so easily met with in examples of length, and where one passion only operates at a time Such a selection, however, seemed highly proper to facilitate the study of the passions, as it is evident that the expression of any passion may be sooner gained by confining our practice for a considerable time to one passion only, than by passing abruptly from one to the other, as they promiscuously occur; which is the case with the Author to whom I am so much indebted for the description of the Passions, and with those who have servilely copied him. The instances of a single passion which I have selected, may be augmented at pleasure; and when the pupil has acquired the expression of each passion singly, I would earnestly recommend to him to analyze his composition, and carefully to mark it with the several passions, emotions, and sentiments it contains, by which means he will distinguish and separate what is often mixed and confounded, and be prompted to force and variety at almost every
I am well aware, that the passions are sometimes so slightly touched, and often melt so insensibly into each other, as to make it somewhat difficult precisely to mark their boundaries; but this is no argument against our marking them where they are distinct and obvious; nor against our suggesting them to those who may not be quite so clear-sighted as ourselves. Indeed, the objection to this practice seems entirely founded on these two misconceptions:
because we cannot perfectly delineate every shade of sound or passion, we ought not to attempt any approaches to them; and because good readers and speakers have no need of these assistances, therefore they are useless to every one else. But this reasoning, I am convinced, is so palpably wrong, as sufficiently to establish the contrary opinion, without any other argument in its favour.